Chang Cheh’s Kid With The Golden Arm vs Rza’s Man with The Iron Fists and Tarantino’s Kill Bill

Written by Joe D on June 28th, 2021

Here’s another gem you can watch on Amazon Prime. Chang Cheh’s Kid With The Golden Arm. It’s very entertaining, a lot of fun with great fight choreography. You can see what an influence this film had on Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill) and The RZA (Man with the Iron Fists) . I should know I worked on both those films. Chang Cheh reunites his cast from the 5 Venoms another hugh hit! The story does have parallels with MWTIF, a shipment of Gold sent to help a province afflicted by a Famine, Off beat Government agents secretly helpiong to protect the Gold, Poison used as a weapon. The list goes on. Buit watch them all and decide for yourself!

 

And here’s a link to The Kill Bill Bootleg Trailer I edited with Quentin.

2001 in 4K! Ray Lovejoy vs. Stanley Kubrick and Pablo Ferro

Written by Joe D on June 7th, 2021

I just got the 4K BluRay of Kubrick’s 2001. And I have to say it is stupendous! It looks incredible!

 

Especially the outer space footage. All done with miniatures and opticals and it looks better than what they do today. Why? Great Artisans and great taste! Stanley held everyone to the highest standards and you can tell when you watch the film. Plus shot in 65mm! With great talents like Doug Trumbull and Wally Veevers. Astonishing! The SlitScan sequence and liquid abstractions have never looked better. So cool. I was friends with the great editor Ray lovejoy.

Ray Lovejoy

A really nice super talented guy. He was the assistant editor on Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Strangelove. 2001 was his first editing job! Talk about starting at the top! He said Stanley was very nice to work with on Dr. Strangelove.

Pablo Ferro

He also said my friend the late great Pablo Ferro drove the English negative cutters and Lab people crazy! They resigned in protest! Pablo was a bit unorthodox but a sweet talented guy. I guess he showed up at the Lab in the middle of the night to make some changes to the title sequence and the lab people had had enough! They resigned! Kubrick (so the legend goes) got an armoured vehicle to transport his precious negative to a new lab! Anyway Ray said that 2001 was such a huge job with opticals being done all over the world, no one optical house could possibly get it done in time, and Kubrick was trying to stay on top of every minute detail. It drove him crazy. Ray said he was never the same after 2001. The giant complicated film took it’s toll on Stanley. Anyway watch the 4K if you are able and be blown away by it’s beauty!

Stanley Kubrick

The Sunchaser

Written by Joe D on May 27th, 2021

Here is one of my favorite scenes from The Sunchaser, a movie I edited for Michael Cimino. This was the last film I edited on film, in 35mm on a KEM editing machine, with splicing tape! It was a lot of work. But I did get to work with some amazing talents, Woody, Jon Seda, Anne Bancroft, Maurice Jarre, Michael Cimino. PS The whole part of them following the hawk to the sacred mountain was created by me. Wasn’t shot that way or in the script, I did it all in editing.  Thanks to the person who put this clip up, and if any of you are interested in watching the entire movie please make sure to get the Scope version not the square 4X3 that they put out. It’s a totally different experience.

Tangerine Dream, Sorcerer, Wages Of Fear

Written by Joe D on April 5th, 2021

Here is a clip of the great synth band Tangerine Dream playing at Coventry Cathedral. They really made a big impact and did a lot of film scores as well. Including the score for a great film, William Friedkin’s Sorcere. My pal Bud Smith edited the film and also edited the trailer to their music. Sorcerer based on Clouzout’s Wages Of Fear. another great movie worth checking out. Check it out.

Invisible Men in Comics and Film- Frank G. Host, Hugh A. Robertson, John Carter

Written by Joe D on February 8th, 2021

I just read a great book, it’s called Invisible Men, it’s about ground-breaking African American Artists that among other pursuits worked in the Comic Book field. They opened the door for other Black artists to make a living as illustrators, portrait painters, comic book creators. I highly recommend it. Ken Quattro did a great job in telling the stories of these under recognized artists. It also reminded me of when I was first starting out in the Film industry in NYC. I was fortunate to have been mentored by a great film editor named Frank G. Host.

He was one of only a few African American Film Editors at the time. I knew another one, John Carter, I worked on some films at his penthouse cutting room on 54th street and Eight Avenue. Another Black Film Editor , who became a director was Hugh A. Robinson.

I never met him but Frank and he had come up together as assitant editors and negative matchers and I heard a lot about him. So I was inspired by Invisible Men to write something about these breakthrough Black filmmakers. Frank told me he got a break because some leftist film people split from California (due to McCarthy witch hunts), came to NYC and were progressive enough to give a young, talented Black man a chance. Hugh Robertson worked with the great editor and director Carl Lerner.

Lerner made a film called Black Like Me where James Whitmore , a reporter, took an experimental drug that turned his skin dark, so he could write an article on what it was like to be a Black Man in America and experience the racism first hand.

Hugh also worked with DeeDee Allen, I spoke to her at a party one time and when I mentioned Frank she immediately asked if I had any news of Hugh, unfortunately I didn’t.

Frank worked with an Editor named Irv Fajans, a Union founder and veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Progressive Americans who voulenteered to so to Spain and fight Fascism.

I don’t really know John Carter’s history, I just knew him as a very nice person, who worked on some big Hollywood films until he passed in 2018. But a quick visit to IMDB gives me some more info on his history. First of all he was born in my hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

He was in the Army and trained in the Signal Corps. A lot of film people wound up in the Signal Corps. Making films for the Army. John was hired by CBS in 1956, and he was the first African American  editor for Network Television in NYC. He was also the first African American to join A.C.E. (the American Cinema Editors Society). My pal Frank G. Host was involved with creating Shell’s Wonderful World Of Golf and won a Peabody Award for documentary work. He attended the Film School of the Sorbonne in Paris on the G.I. Bill. There he worked on Pickpocket for the great Robert Bresson. Later he was invited to sit on a Unesco panel on Filmmaking in Africa. If his wife had not died they were planning on moving to Africa to make films there. I’m sure there are other African Americans that played important roles in opening up the industry but these are the three I had personal knowledge of. In any case buy Invisible Men, it is really great, inspirational. I will write soon about another African American group of artists that are getting some great exposurfe these days. Kamoinge, a workshop of great Black photographers, several of whom I was lucky enough to know and call friends.

Too Much Sun, Robert Downey Sr & Jr.

Written by Joe D on December 28th, 2020

Here’s a clip from a film I edited for Robert Downey Sr. Downey Jr. is in it along with Ralph Macchio,Eric Idle , Andrea Martin, Alan Arbus, Leo Rossi, James Hong, Jennifer Ruben,and a host of others, including Howard Duff, it was his last film. In this clip you will see Laura Ernst harrassing Downey Junior at the begining. She was a great friend and married to Robert Downey Sr. But here are some funny moments. Enjoy.

Hugh A. Robertson,Frank G. Host, Carl Lerner, Pablo Ferro, Midnight Cowboy

Written by Joe D on December 12th, 2020

This is a crazy combination of people but what the heck it breaks down like this: I got into filmmaking by attending a one time Manpower funded program at T.U.I. (the Theater of Universal Images) in downtown Newark,N.J. (my hometown). The editing teacher was a great guy named Frank G. Host. We became friends and he got me my first job at Editor’s Hideaway on 57th and Madison Ave. in NYC. A commercial editing facility. Anyway Frank was always talking about his old friend Hugh Robertson, how they had started out together.  (there were very few Afro-American film editors at that time, John Carter was another.) Frank got his break from some leftist types from California , who fled the Hollywood Anti Communist witch hunts and were willing to give a young talented Black guy a break. Hugh worked for the great editor Carl Lerner, a priogressive person who went on to direct Black Like Me, about a white reporter who takes an experimental drug that turns him Black so he can see what it’s like to live as a Black person.

so these two friends were at the cutting edge of Black Filmmaking in the US. Frank got drafted and was stationed in Paris, luckily missing out on being sent to Korea. Then he attended the Sorbonne Film School on the G.I. bill, meanwhile Hugh A. Robertson continued to work in NYC, eventually landing the editing job on Shaft and  Midnitght Cowboy,then directing some films.  I had never met Hugh or even seen a picture of him until running across this intervbiew on YouTube posted by the ultracool Black Film Network. So I finally got to see him and hear him speak. Here it is.

It also just so happens that my old pal Pablo Ferro worked on Midnite Cowboy as 2nd unit director. Pablo told me he shot a lot of the psychedelic party scene in that film and here it is

The Man With No Name

Written by Joe D on August 20th, 2020

 

Here is a cool BBC doc on Clint Eastwood from back in 1977. He was the biggest star in the world at that time thanks to the Westerns of Sergio Leone. It’s full of fascinating characters, Paulene Kael basically saying she does not like Clint as an actor or director, the great editor Ferris Webster, the great editor turned director Don Siegal, Sergio Leone, Richard Burton. This is an amazing document. Check it out.

How I got into Film Editing, Frank G. Host, Irving Fajans

Written by Joe D on July 5th, 2019

I attended the Theater Of Universal Images Filmmaking workshop in Newark N.J., my home town. I was paid by Manpower to learn filmmaking, What a great Program, we got to make short films and we were all paid! There were about 12 of us in the program, I was one of two white attendees. The rest were all African American except for two Puerto Rican guys. The teachers were all African American proffesionals from NYC. It was a great experience. The editing teacher was an amazing talented man named Frank G. Host. We became friends and he helped me get my first job in NYC on Madison Avenue at a commercial editing company called Editor’s Hideaway.Frank was a great friend and mentor. He helped me in a million ways. He was one of the first African American Film Editors in NYC, along with John Carter and Hugh Robertson. Frank told me he got his break into film editing from a guy named Irving Fajans, who fought in the Spanish Civil War, was a Union Organizer, learned filmmaking on the G.I. Bill and was openminded enough to give a young talented African American young man a break and get him into the craft of film editing. I am eternally grateful for the help Irving gave Frank and Frank gave me.

 

 

Irving Fajans                                                                                                                                                                              Frank G. Host

Here is a film Irv Fajans edited and maybe Frank G. Host worked on. P.s. the director of photography was the great Boris Kaufman, he shot films for Jean Vigo and On The Waterfront among many others.

 

The Hustler

Written by Joe D on May 30th, 2019

Here’s the trailer for Robert Rossen’s The Hustler, great script, great directing, great acting, great cinematography by Eugene Schufftan and great editing by Dede Allen. Watch the whole movie and dig it!

 

Cutural Impact of The Exorcist

Written by Joe D on April 22nd, 2019

I remember the insanity surrounding the release of The Exorcist. People waited in lines for hours to see any showing, midnight or 10 AM. I heard Warner Brothers had employees, who were heading home for the Holidays, hand carry prints to their local theaters. They were working round the clock to finish the film and make the Christmas Eve release. My pal Bud Smith edited the film, a magnificent job! My other friend, the late, great, Jack Nitzsche recorded special sound effects for the film, that add immensley to the experience. But here is a short documentary on the phenomenon of The Exorcist’s first release.

The Tree of Wooden Clogs

Written by Joe D on January 7th, 2019

The Genius Of Cinema-Ermanno Olmi

 

I saw this when it was released in 1978 with my best pal Frank G. Host. We talked about it for a long time. It is a masterpiece! One of the best films ever made! Made by a true genius of Cinema, Ormano Olmi. He wrote, photographed , directed , and edited it. Damn! And all for a very small budget with non actors! Be inspired filmmakers of the future! See the Power of Cinema!